Unerasable Memories > Statement by Solange Farkas

The exhibition Unerasable Memories is part of a growing set of strategies designed to keep the collection of Associação Cultural Videobrasil active and in touch with the world. Most of the three thousand pieces in the collection have featured in the competitive shows of the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil since the 1980s; others have been donated by artists who deemed it important for their work to be represented in it; and others still are recordings, performances,interviews,and documentaries produced by the institution.

Although the Collection incorporates international video art classics, its greatest strength is the fact that it contains the memory of audiovisual production from the geopolitical South of the world, the focus of the show Southern Panoramas: Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

The importance of these growing contents and the need to preserve them contributed to the decision of establishing Associação Cultural Videobrasil, twenty years ago. Keeping the technical apparatus required in order to maintain a collection of this sort updated is a constant challenge, but the collection poses an even more crucial question: how can these artworks converse with contemporary art productions and be at the reach of those who research and think about art?

In response, we have concentrated our efforts in weaving the artwork into a sophisticated web of related contents, such as references and critical texts—a case in point is platform:vb, an online tool for research and curating exercise based on the collection. Adding to this work is the constant exercise of casting new gazes upon the artwork.

Unerasable Memories, as well as the activating actions programmed to happen at the Knowledge Zone room, are born out of the perspective of exploring the Collection's vast potential to feed into curating and research projects. Agustín Pérez Rubio, for ten years the curator of the Contemporary Art Museum of Castilla y León (MUSAC) and recently appointed director of Buenos Aires’ MALBA, has culled artworks from the collection which, though made in different places over a thirty-year timespan, are all concerned with retrieving from erasure uncomfortable memories of conflicts, persecution, and violence.

The first experiment involving the Videobrasil Collection and a guest curator, Unerasable Memories will be shown at institutions in Europe, Africa, and Latin America between 2015 and 2016, starting at MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina) and MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain). The exhibition could not have been a better example of the potential of the collection—that is, of the artists from the geopolitical South—to feed into the debate about the connections between art production and contemporary reality.